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Cannes, France

Summer Abroad - Cannes, France

Experience the ritzy, world-famous Cannes Film Festival while studying how international film functions in the context of celebrity culture, marketing, and festivals.

In preparation for fieldwork at the festival, you are required to attend two introductory lectures—which will be held in March and April on Penn's campus—and view films from around the world. You then spend every day of your two weeks attending the festival in Cannes, France. Your experience includes screenings, classes, and guest lectures by prominent leaders in the industry. Students live in dormitory-style housing at the centrally located Collège International de Cannes. 

The Penn Summer Abroad Cannes program is exclusively for Penn undergraduate students.

Applications open

November 15, 2021

Early admission deadline

January 14, 2022
Rolling admissions continue until the program reaches capacity

Final application deadline

March 31, 2022


After clicking “Apply Now” please select “School of Arts and Sciences, College of Liberal and Professional Studies.” You can then select “Penn Summer Abroad - Penn Students” or “Penn Summer Abroad - Non-Penn Students.”

Join us for an information session to learn more about the program:

Date Time Location
Tuesday, November 16, 2021 4 p.m. Virtual session for all Penn Summer Abroad programs via Zoom
Wednesday, November 17, 2021 5 - 6:30 p.m. Information session for Cannes program, 401 Fisher-Bennett Hall
Monday, November 22, 2021 5 - 6:30 p.m. Information session for Cannes program, 401 Fisher-Bennett Hall
Tuesday, November 23, 2021 5 - 6:30 p.m. Information session for Cannes program, 401 Fisher-Bennett Hall
Tuesday, November 30, 2021 5 - 6:30 p.m. Information session for Cannes program, 401 Fisher-Bennett Hall
Wednesday, December 1, 2021 5 - 6:30 p.m. Information session for Cannes program, 401 Fisher-Bennett Hall
Wednesday, December 8, 2021 4 p.m.

Virtual session for all Penn Summer Abroad programs via Zoom

Friday, March 25, 2022
Friday, April 15, 2022
Pre-departure lectures
Sunday, May 15, 2022 Recommended arrival in Cannes
Sunday, May 15, 2022 Program housing first available
Tuesday, May 17, 2022 On-site orientation
Saturday, May 28, 2022 Classes end
Sunday, May 29, 2022 Program housing last checkout date

All students register for a total of one course unit (c.u.)*. Course offerings are subject to change. Course registration is completed by the Penn Summer Abroad office for students who confirm their intent to enroll and submit required pre-departure documents.

Perspectives on International Cinema

CIMS 039 (1 c.u.)

  • Fulfills requirements: Elective Cinema and Media Studies Major & Minor

The program begins with two introductory lectures held on Penn’s campus to enable students to establish a critical vocabulary for film study. The lectures and subsequent discussions examine: a) the business and art of the film festival; b) contemporary international cinema; c) history of the Cannes Film Festival. In addition, students are required to watch at least six international films and write a ‘pre-departure’ paper. Those films will be entries from previous Cannes competitions. During the Cannes Festival, students will apply the critical tools and knowledge of the film industry gained from their earlier work. They will be expected to view a certain number of international films, keep a journal, attend regular meetings, and submit a final research essay.

Students stay at the Collège International de Cannes in dormitory-style housing. Classes also meet at the College, which is centrally located. Breakfast is included.

Tuition and fees are subject to the approval of the Board of Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania and may change without notice.

Please use the costs listed below as general estimates only.

  • Tuition for summer 2021: $4,694/c.u.
  • Program fee for summer 2022: $2,000
    • Penn Summer Abroad deposits ($500) will be credited to students’ accounts when final program costs are posted
    • Includes administrative costs, student accommodations, cancellation insurance, and passes to the Cannes Film Festival

Payment is due according to Penn’s Student Registration and Financial Services billing schedule.

Students from the Cannes program attended the 2013 Cannes Film Festival as part of their studies. Led by Nicola M. Gentili, Program Director, the group attended screenings and lectures, and made some time for celebrity spotting. This video was filmed and edited by Zoe Gan with video contributions from Nicolette Toronto.

If you have a problem viewing this video, you can watch it on YouTube.

Penn Summer Abroad disclaimer

The running of all 2022 Penn Summer Abroad programs is dependent on approval from the Committee on Travel Risk assessment (CTRA). Please be advised, CTRA approval may also be rescinded at any time prior to the running of the program. Programs may also be canceled independently of the CTRA process. Any of these scenarios would result in your summer 2022 Penn Summer Abroad Program not moving forward. All PSA students are strongly encouraged to consider the consequences if their summer 2022 program is canceled for any reason. Cancellations carry financial risks as well as academic risks, including the potential impact on academic progress.

For all Penn-affiliated travel occurring on or after May 18, 2021, a COVID-19 vaccination is required. This applies to both domestic and international travel unless an exception has been granted for medical or religious reasons. If you have a question related to this guidance or will not be vaccinated prior to travel, please contact

Contact Information

For details about the program, courses, or location including academic advising, travel dates, housing, and orientation:

Program Director Nicola M. Gentili

Program Director
Nicola M. Gentili
Associate Director of Cinema Studies 
University of Pennsylvania
Tel: (215) 898-8782

For assistance with the application, financial questions, pre-departure, or other general information:

Penn Summer Abroad Office

Penn Summer Abroad Office
College of Liberal and Professional Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Fisher-Bennett Hall, Room 101
3340 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19104-3335
Tel: (215) 898-7326

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.